As already announced although it seemed hard to believe the two first hits earlier released this week, “False Prophets” and “everybody dies” are out of this new Album being just an opening statement to what turned out to be a different type of Album than what one could expect from those two preaches against fake rappers.
“I see the rain pouring down before my very eyes”. It is under quite a heavy veil of darkness that J Cole starts this new Album as one can refrain from the cover of both the first two singles (in blurry white/grey font on a dark background) and the Album itself. In “For Whom The Bells Tolls” accompanied by a Jazzy introduction we have the dedication of this Album to someone which remains undefined at this point.
In “Immortality” life is seen by J Cole as a simple choice between “to die young legend or to live a long life unfulfilled” where he clearly expresses his choice goes accordingly to the legend life since “Real N***** Don’t Die” according to this first beat. In “Deja Vu” he addresses some girlfriend that is “fucking small town n****” while he is “on his way to the promise land” where he can make “no promises” to her of a better life. And who is this female character? Well some say it could just be the mother of a future novelty in this Album. Paternity shows again in “Ville Mentality” where a kid with a dead dad acts insubordinately towards his mother in a way of revenge as many actually do. “I wish my Dad was here” ends this fourth song as the big revelations come. “I never felt so Alive” says Cole opening “She’s mine part I”. Some other Rappers would wait for TMZ to find out about their paternity secrets or even advertise it by the poor name choice. However in one of his statements in “Eyez” the documentary revealed some days ago King Cole assumes how tight he his with his family and how he hates this Social Networks private life invasion and “channels like TMZ”. And before they could find anything out J Cole assumes paternity of his daughter of when he was around 19 years old and tells us how proud he his and how he will be one of those fathers that prepares their kid by telling them “about their experience and their demons”. The big watermark is however the patent love of this newly father towards his young curb as we can hear “I Fall in love for the first time” for this being that “looks like is in heaven” overtime it goes to sleep. In “Neighbors” he prints his humble signature as he always does at some point and tells us how he moved into the hoods near Ivy League the only place he can get some rest, and that he has no intentions to become President (as Kanye for example does) but would like a chat with him (probably when its still Obama). However all this perfect picture does not go along with his life since he and his gang just smoke Marijuana and don’t have those “Rapper cars” he just needs something to “take me back and forth” and so his neighbors think he is “selling dope” for life since they probably are not Rap fans and if they would be they would lean more towards Jay Z due to richness similarities.
Conclusion arrives with “She’s mine part II” where a baby crying opens us the song (although it sounds quite like a cat in the really beginning). “You are now the reason that I fight, I have never done something so right in my life” and “She is someone more important than me” plant this true love letter of an Album which was probably not what everyone was expecting of J Cole at this point. But since his last threats in an October Concert saying “this is will be my last show in a long time” we are really happy to see the reasons for them are something as beautiful as paternity. “Don’t wanna die, cause now you’re here, and I just want to be by your side” finishes one of the most truthfully emotional Rap Love letters by a Rapper that “never felt so alive” before. The Album ends on high note musically speaking with “4 your eyez only” which is an exception that actually reminds us of previous Albums (more towards his beginnings, probably by the time he was a Dad).
“I’m leaving you this Record for your eyes only, never ever scratch it or disrespect it..Your daddy was a real n**** not because he was Cole, not because he got some pussy when was 12 years old, not because he scream “Fuck the Law” although it was true. Your daddy was a real n**** because he Loved you”
Review: A powerful Love Letter to a tiny creature that probably today when assumed by its Father towards the World is not that tiny anymore written by one of the greatest contemporaneous Rappers. We were not expecting anything near this mainly after such different singles released earlier in the week. But as we know surprises can also be good. In this case we see a J Cole slowing down from Big Mouth Hits like “Wet Dreamz” and “No Role Modelz” and focusing on a type of honest Rap he has never quite explored before. Worth a listen by all of those magazines that already defined the Best Rap Albums of 2016.